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BWWMH hosting diabetes course

Free diabetes classes are offered at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital to educate patients and the community about living with and preventing diabetes. They are offered each Friday from 10-11 a.m. in the hospital’s classroom.

Leigh Autery, an RN who teaches the classes, said that the course developed from the Healthstart Comprehensive Wellness Program (HCWP) which is aimed at participants with chronic diseases. However, a need was soon discovered for training specific to diabetes.

“When we started doing that program, we noticed that we had so many patients with diabetes with nowhere to go to learn about diabetes,” she said.

The course uses demonstrations and hands-on activities to cover topics including general information about the illness, understanding the body with diabetes, complications and how to prevent them, medication, healthy eating and diet, risks and prevention.

There is also a once-monthly diabetes support group held after class to give participants of greater sense of community.

“The reason they have enjoyed the classes so much is because they are surrounded by people going through the same thing they are,” Autery said.

She also said that anyone can benefit from these courses, whether they have diabetes themselves or have loved ones with the illness. Autery said that it offers a way for individuals to learn about diabetes without traveling to Tuscaloosa to take a class.

“They don’t know how it affects their entire body as a whole and by the time they graduate our class, they know that.”

Participants will graduate the course after completing all six classes. Anyone who started mid-way through the course must attend the classes that were missed in the next session before graduating.

The classes are presented by the hospital’s grant and outreach division GROWestAL and are part of a six-week course ending on July 20, but participants can join at any time. They are currently in the middle of the third session, and a fourth is scheduled for August.

To reserve a spot at the next class, contact 334-287-2456.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, June 27 issue of the Demopolis Times.)